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HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS

Hospital

PROJECT: SCHEDULING OF ANAESTHETISTS ACROSS DIFFERENT THEATRES IN TYGERBERG HOSPITAL

In collaboration with the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at Tygerberg Hospital

In this project, a mixed-integer program is developed that aims to assist the Department of Anaesthesiology & Critical Care at Tygerberg Hospital in improving the manner in which schedules for anaesthetists are created. The constraints and parameters used in the formulation of the program are identified from data obtained from the hospital, in the form of interviews, spreadsheets and an online survey. The constraints are formulated according to three main categories: ergonomic, preference and fairness. Ergonomic constraints consider the rules imposed by gov-ernment regulations, and preference and fairness constraints utilise the obtained data to create a fair and reasonable schedule.

Members and alumni involved: Michelle de Beer and Linke Potgieter

PROJECT: IMPROVING PATIENT WAITING TIME IN A PRIMARY HEALTHCARE CLINIC

In collaboration with a South African clinic

In South Africa, partly due to a fast increasing population relying on public healthcare services, as well as the recurring treatment of HIV, TB and other chronic diseases at clinics, there is an increasing demand for specifically primary healthcare services. Limited funding, personnel and infrastructure expansion has led to overcrowded clinics, long waiting times for patients before consultation, and extended staff working hours in primary healthcare clinics in South Africa. In addition, the appointment and queuing system at some clinics in South Africa seems to be inefficient, as patients sometimes wait from 8am in the mornings until the afternoon, even though their appointment may be at 10am.

In this project, the workflow, appointment and queuing system of a clinic in the winelands region of South Africa will be investigated. Using techniques such as queuing theory and discrete event simulation, new strategies will be recommended that could reduce the average waiting time per patient before consultation without compromising on quality care.

Members involved: Annelie Wessels, Linke Potgieter

Medical form with stethoscope
Doctor with Files

PROJECT: DOCTOR SCHEDULING IN AN EMERGENCY CENTRE

In collaboration with a South African public emergency centre

Due to the limited budgetary allocation by the South Africa government, public health care facilities are under constant pressure to satisfy the demand for health care services and are severely under staffed relative to the demand requirement. The primary objective in this project was the construction of fair ergonomic shift schedules for doctors that satisfy the demand, take individual preferences into account and reduce the health risk associated with overworked personnel. An important lesson learned from this project is that given the budgetary constraints and resulting staff shortages, it is impossible to create a fair ergonomic schedule for doctors working in the case study public health care emergency centre that adheres to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.   

Members and alumni involved: Candice Muller, Linke Potgieter